If you want to start making espresso at home, there will be a range of tasks that are going to require you to use certain tools and accessories. The barista equipment and other home barista supplies that you are going to need for brewing your own coffee at home will depend on the espresso machine that you’re using and how much of a perfectionist you are when it comes to your coffee. If you want the best espresso at home, you will need to make sure that you have the right equipment. Getting the right espresso brewing tools and accessories will help you get better control over the brewing parameters until you have developed more confidence and improve your overall experience of making espresso by making it easier. There are also several accessories that you can use to keep your equipment well-maintained to ensure that you get a perfect cup of coffee every time. Other accessories, like a coffee grinder and a tamper, are absolutely essential for making espresso at home and should always be included with all professional barista equipment.
What You Need to Get With Your Espresso Machine
When it comes to getting the right barista stuff, the barista kit you will need will depend on the equipment that you already have in your kitchen. If you have invested in a super automatic espresso machine, you will not usually need any additional tools as the machine is set up to perform all of the steps for you from grinding the beans to weighing the right amount and tamping them down ready to brew. All you will need to do is fill the machine with water or attach it to the water supply, add your coffee beans, and press the button to start brewing. On the other hand, if you have a semi-automatic or a manual espresso machine, there are some aspects of the brewing process that you will need to perform manually, which is where your coffee tools UK come into play.
A semi-automatic or manual machine that requires you to get espresso machine accessories UK can be a benefit as you will have more control over the brewing process and there is more room for you to make adjustments. On the other hand, however, there will be more knowledge and work required for you to pull a decent shot of espresso.
Essential Tools for Home Baristas
If you want to start making your own espresso drinks at home, there are several tools and accessories that you’re going to need if you are not using a super-automatic machine.
When it comes to getting the right equipment for a barista at home, a good coffee grinder is almost as important as the espresso machine itself. Not only is this one of the best barista gifts UK for anybody who is interested in making their own coffee, but you definitely need one to make espresso since you simply can’t get the perfect espresso without it.
Getting a consistent grind size is the most important factor. Any boulders or dust in your grounds is going to compromise the brewing and extraction process since the larger parts will be under-extracted and the smaller parts will be over-extracted. To prevent this, you will need to get a burr grinder, which will deliver a consistent grind size. Blade grinders are best avoided as although they are usually cheaper and easier to obtain, they will usually give you an uneven grind.
When it comes to getting the correct barista kit UK, you might not realize that you need to get another tamper if one has already been included with your espresso machine. But the truth is that many espresso machine manufacturers try and cut costs by including cheap, plastic tampers with their machines, so you’ll want to invest in a better one. Getting a metal tamper is the best option and the best part is that a decent tamper isn’t going to be very expensive, but they will usually be better than any that come with your espresso machine. One of the main things to ensure when buying a new tamper is that it fits your espresso machine’s portafilter basket. If it doesn’t, this will lead to channeling, as the beans around the edges will be loose. As a result, the shot will be under-extracted.
When making espresso, getting the brewing temperature just right is important. This is also crucial if you are making steamed milk and milk foam for drinks like lattes and cappuccinos, where the temperature is absolutely essential to getting the right results. If you have a semi-automatic or manual machine and are new to brewing espresso, you will definitely benefit from getting a thermometer. You can use it for two different reasons:
- Water Temperature: You won’t need a thermometer if you have an espresso machine with an integrated PID that will ensure the right brewing temperature for you. However, many good espresso machines do not have a PID so you will need a thermometer to measure the temperature of the espresso.
- Milk Temperature: Steaming milk for milk-based espresso drinks is an intricate process where you should not go any higher than seventy degrees Celsius. A thermometer can be used to help you stay under that temperature until you have gained some experience and can determine the temperature of the milk from simply feeling the pitcher.
If you are new to making espresso at home, you might not have thought about getting a scale to add to your barista equipment. However, a scale is often necessary when brewing espresso to help with better consistency and precision when it comes to pulling shots. The most important variable that you can measure using a scale is the dose, which refers to how many beans you use for one shot. Some grinders come with a doser that you can use instead, but if yours doesn’t, then you’re going to need a scale to work out how much coffee you are using for each shot.
The perfect espresso will usually take around 25 seconds to pull, no matter the dose. If done too quickly, it will lead to under-extraction, while pulling the shot for too long will lead to a shot that is over-extracted and bitter. You should invest in a timer that you can use to measure the extraction time. While you can do this using a timer on your smartphone or watch, you might find it helpful to get a timer that can be clipped onto your coffee machine.
Coffee Machine Cleaning
Keeping your espresso machine in great condition is essential for making sure that it lasts for as long as possible and that your coffee tastes great every time. Descaling solutions or tablets are an essential as you will need to descale your machine on a regular basis. How often you descale your machine will depend on your area’s water hardness. If you live in a hard water area, you should descale your machine every two to four weeks.
Additional Tools and Accessories
Now that you have perfected your home barista kit and have all the essential tools that you are going to need to pull perfect espresso shots, it’s time to consider some nice-to-have accessories and tools that might not always be needed to make espresso but can certainly make your life easier.
While you can do without one of these, getting a tamping mat will make your experience easier and much more pleasant. It will help you avoid loud noises on your countertop when tamping the coffee downs and prevent countertop scratches and marks.
This is an accessory that you might not realize how much you needed until you start using it. It makes it easier than ever to discard your used coffee pucks and can help the entire process to be much more sanitary as you’re no longer having to put your portafilter into the bin to throw the used coffee grounds out.
If you like to make cappuccino at home, then a dusting of chocolate powder on the top is the best way to finish this drink off and give it the perfect presentation. You can make this look even nicer by using cappuccino art stencils. All you need to do is place the stencils on top of the cup and shake your powder over.
While you can certainly get the right dose just using a scale, dosing tools can be a handy thing to have when just starting out. Dosing tools are ideal for beginners since they allow you to easily measure the quantity of coffee in your portafilter.
If you want to start making the perfect espresso at home, you definitely need to make sure that you have the right tools. The right barista accessories will help you perfect your espresso and make the process easier for you to master. Along with getting the essentials, consider some nice-to-have tools that will improve your experience.